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Eggplant & Mushroom Hushpuppies with Sauce Bleu and Pico de Gallo

YIELD: 25-30 hushpuppies

1 medium or large eggplant, peeled and cubed
½ lb.
mushrooms, chopped
2 green onions
1 Tbsp. Montreal seasoning or your favorite spice blend
1 cup water
1 cup
shredded cheese (cheddar, sharp cheddar, or mozzarella)
2 large eggs
Approx. 2 cups self-rising flour

1. Combine first 5 ingredients and simmer on high heat and cook for approximately 8 minutes.

2. Drain liquid, then pulse in a food processor if less chunky puppy desired.

3. Blend in cheese, eggs and flour (start with 1 cup and add to 2 or even more for desired consistency to scoop or roll)

4. Scoop, spoon, or roll to approx 1" diameter balls. If mixture still slightly wet, drop balls into flour to dust before frying.

5. Drop into deep fryer or skillet until golden brown on both sides.

6. Serve with bleu cheese dressing and pico de gallo.

Recipe by Mark Abbott, General Manager Nutrition Services, St. Mary's Health Care System, Athens, GA

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